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Fraser Mitchell

Fraser MitchellPartner

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I am a Partner in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution team.

I have experience acting in a range of complex cross-border and multijurisdictional disputes for a variety of clients including individuals, trusts, companies, funds and states as both claimant and defendant.

I’m named in the Legal 500 2023 where I’m described as “very sharp and commercially driven”. I am listed as Future Leader in WWL 2023 where I’m described as a “fabulous and committed partner” with “astute strategic vision.

I’m often instructed in cases where fraud, bribery, conspiracy or breach of fiduciary duty are alleged (in particular as concerns directors). I regularly act in insolvency litigation and shareholder disputes and have extensive experience in obtaining and resisting interim applications, often at short notice. I also have experience handling investigations on behalf of companies, individuals and state entities.

I have advocacy experience and have appeared many times as both as sole counsel and as junior counsel up to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

Natural resources

I have extensive experience advising on natural resources disputes across multiple regions and jurisdictions. Some recent highlights include:

  • Acting for a publicly listed Nigerian oil company in an ongoing dispute concerning the rights of shareholders to hold board positions.
  • Acting for a large US metals futures trader across 6 different disputes (Court and arbitration proceedings). The disputes are all English law governed by concern matters in Zambia, DRC, Singapore, Malysia and Hong Kong. All concern commodities contracts on trading, pricing, financing touching on breach of contract, fiduciary duties.
  • Representing a syndicate of investors suing a Chinese company concerning a JV enterprise to extract, sell and transport metal in the Brazilian Amazon valued at US$350m. The Chinese counterparty has defrauded our client by secretly selling metal to a third party and not accounted for the profits to its JV partner.
  • Advised a UK fund on a potential dispute concerning fee and commission entitlements dispute with the Nigerian based ultimate owner of shares (held under an English trust) in a lithium mine in Zimbabwe.
  • I have also advised on disputes arising from multiple high value natural resources assets in the CIS region (typically where ownership of the structure resides in foreign jurisdictions such as the Virgin Islands).

Civil fraud and Asset Recovery

I have significant experience advising on cases where fraud and dishonesty are alleged and have previously acted in some of the largest fraud investigations claims in the English Courts (see Libyan Investment Auhority -v- Soc Gen for example) and the BVI Courts (see Renova -v- Emmerson). Claims of dishonesty are a core focus of my practice. Some recent experience in this regard includes:

  • Conducting a detailed investigation and reporting on a potential financial fraud perpetrated by the CEO of a South African Plc against the company (and its operations in SA, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland). This included a forensic investigation and full legal opinion on the matter.
  • Acting on behalf of the Swedish government to investigate a significant fraud perpetrated by an investment fund against Swedish pension holders.
  • Acted for a Libyan government owned entity in investigating and reporting on a potential fraud being perpetrated by an aircraft part supplier in Germany.
  • Acted for a family office in investigating and bringing claims against the perpetrators of a crypto fraud.
  • I also specialise in the recovery misappropriated assets and act for a publicly listed fund which specialises in recovery actions against distressed individuals and entities.

I am highly experienced in obtaining and resisting interim applications in support of fraud claims. In the BVI, I advised on some of the jurisdictions leading cases on urgent relief, including in the Court of Appeal on the Convoy Collateral matter (the leading common case concerning free standing injunctions) and obtaining freezing relief in support of foreign arbitration proceedings (see Koshigi -v- Donna Union).

Financial Services

I have significant experience acting for financial services clients on a range of matters. Recent examples include acting for a Cayman/ BVI fund (ultimately owned from Switzerland) on a claim premised on unfair prejudice and misrepresentation, worth US$17m. I have also acted for various large financial institutions in bringing enforcement and recovery actions.

I am a Trustee of the Turquoise Mountain Fountain. TMF was established in 2006 by King Charles III to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, to provide jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride.

The Foundation works to protect heritage and communities at risk around the world, and to provide jobs, education and a renewed sense of pride. We focus on historic buildings and traditional crafts, in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East. Since 2006, Turquoise Mountain has restored over 150 historic buildings, employed and trained thousands of artisans and builders, built over 50 small businesses, and supported and generated over $17 million in sales of traditional crafts to international markets.

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